There are two sides to Las Vegas. On the one you have a city filled with opulent accommodations, celebrity chef restaurants, glitzy shows and nightclubs, and high-stakes gambling. On the other side there are buffets, rooms off The Strip, five dollar blackjack tables, and free attractions. Which Vegas is right for you? Well, if you plan it right, a little of both. Here are some tips to budget a fun and not too expensive time in Las Vegas.
Don’t even think about reserving one of Vegas’ tens of thousands of rooms without determining how much you want to spend gambling. Setting a budget for the slots or craps tables does two things. First, it allows you to keep track of the goal you want to reach. Second, it sets a cap on how much to spend.
Many a tourist has visited the casinos of Las Vegas only to go home quite broke. Don’t let this happen to you. Set a gambling limit for each day you’re in Las Vegas and keep to it. Any winnings should be put to the side and not be used for further gambling. In addition, consider where you’re going to gamble. The casinos along The Strip have higher minimum table game limits that go up during weekends and special events. Try the casinos around Fremont Street and along Boulder Highway to stretch your gambling funds.
Getting and Staying There
There’s good news about Las Vegas accommodations – they keep increasing. And the extra space allows hotels in the area to provide deep discounts for their rooms. This includes the mega-resorts along The Strip, which offer deals during their slower days, usually Sunday thru Thursday. Throw in a flight, and the room rates can get even cheaper.
How you budget your accommodations depends on where you stay. Average rooms along The Strip can run less than $100 per night, except in places like The Venetian and the Steve Wynn hotels. The older resorts in downtown Las Vegas and those on the fringes cost even less – sometimes $30 a night with comps like a free buffet. The thing to watch out for are the resort fees many of the larger hotels attach to a nightly rate. Contact the hotel of your choice for those fees prior to budgeting.
Dining and Nightlife
How you budget your dining expenses depends on where you want to go. Buffets give you the most bang for the amount you pay, but they can be hit and miss. You can look into some of the celebrity chef restaurants; however, the menu items for these can get somewhat pricey. Then there are the local neighborhood options, which fall somewhere in the middle. Consider trying a mix of all three options during your stay in Vegas in order to save money for other items.
Like nightlife, for example. You can certainly have a good time hanging out in the casino bars, but the ritzy clubs are where all the action takes place. They’re also the most expensive to get in to and order a drink from. Deciding to try one these spots requires a good amount of budgeting to prepare, so make sure you choose the right one well ahead of time.